The CXO Compliance Crisis [ANZ Report]

30 April, 2024
  • 38% had anti-money laundering (AML) budgets cut in 2024 in comparison to 2023, with New Zealand impacted more than Australia
  • Australia is more likely to think c-suite should be held responsible for non compliance than New Zealand

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND; 30 April: Over half (53%) of c-suite executives in Australia and New Zealand only feel somewhat confident about their company’s anti-money laundering (AML) processes. That’s according to a survey by First AML, the anti-money laundering scaleup.

The survey found that the financial consequences of non-compliance on their organisation is a concern for 78% in Australia and 64% in New Zealand. In fact, 30% of those surveyed in Australia are extremely concerned, compared to only 18% in New Zealand.

Reputational risks

When asked whether a strong commitment to compliance impacts the company or firm's reputation in the market, 84% in Australia feel it brings a positive impact, but only 42% in New Zealand feel the same. Similarly, 34% in Australia feel it brings a significant positive impact, versus just 16% of c-suite executives in New Zealand.

On top of this, Australian executives are more likely to think the c-suite should be held responsible for non-compliance (82%) compared to just 56% in New Zealand.

Milan Cooper, co-founder and CEO of First AML, commented: “Australia is going through a transformative period, and these survey findings should be a call to arms for a Tranche 2 decision. New Zealand is deeper into its journey, but that doesn’t mean the c-suite should rest on its laurels when it comes to anti-money laundering processes.”

2024 budget changes

The survey also found that 38% had anti-money laundering budgets cut in 2024 in comparison to 2023, yet 95% of c-suite executives are worried about their company’s ability to be compliant with new and upcoming anti-money laundering regulations.

The main reasons for this concern include limited resources (46%), limited budgets (30%), and limited staff knowledge (41%).

Bringing AML to the boardroom

The majority of c-suite executives discuss anti-money laundering strategies, risks, and processes discussed during board or senior level meetings quarterly (43%). In New Zealand, 36% discuss it bi-annually or less frequently, compared to just 28% in Australia.

On top of this, the majority (43%) receive reports, or have meetings, with their ALMCO or compliance officers about compliance quarterly, with 44% in New Zealand and 32% in Australia receiving them bi-annually or less frequently.

Almost all (98%) have any plans to change anti-money laundering processes in 2024. Sixty percent of Australian respondents are planning to invest in technology, compared to just 30% in New Zealand. Collectively, both Australia and New Zealand are also planning more investment in people (41%) and more investment in training (35%).

“While the Australian market is further behind other countries and regions for implementing anti-money laundering processes, it is able to learn from the missteps made by others,” Cooper continued. “With access to both cutting-edge technology and hindsight, Australia can get it right first time. Investment in tech – in addition to people and training – will be crucial for this success.”

About First AML

First AML simplifies the entire anti-money laundering onboarding and compliance process. Its SaaS platform, Source, stands out as a leading solution for organisations with complex or international onboarding needs. It provides streamlined collaboration and ensures uniformity in all AML practices.

First AML transforms an otherwise complex and manual process into one that is simple, cost-effective, and compliant for businesses. By delivering efficiency and time savings, it protects reputations and enables companies to stay on the right side of history in the face of global threats.

Keen to find out more? Book a demo today! No time for a long demo? No problem. See what Source by First AML can do for your business in 2 minutes – watch the short demo here.